Review: The Beauty of Being Herd – Undoubtedly Joyous And Uplifting

Review: The Beauty of Being Herd – Undoubtedly Joyous And Uplifting

April 29, 2024 Off By admin

Review By Rachel Madden

The Beauty of Being Herd’ is a bizarre and captivating performance, centred around the confusion of being human, the desperation of connecting, and our innate need to belong.

Hannah struggles so much to fit it, she decides that being human is no longer worth it. After a particularly daunting experience, she is drawn in by the simplicity and ease of existing within the herd, moving, eating, ‘ruminating’ together, all are welcome in the herd.

Starting off with a bewildered and delighted Hannah, it’s not immediately obvious that the play has begun, as Ruth’s character speaks to you directly, in a preppy, chatty sense, casually conversing and welcoming responses from the audience. You are quickly dropped into Hannah’s funny and chaotic mind, her sporadic reactions and readiness to share awkward stories, she is instantly likeable, immediately breaking any ice and winning over the crowd.

This exciting opening puts you at ease before delving into some uncomfortable topics, from time to time she will lightly prod your emotions, directing your memory upon those times you’ve felt less than your best self. She asks her audience forwardly, “have you ever felt lonely?” and soon after she’s got you dancing, or rather, ‘frolicking’, to her charming song all about the perks of being sheep.

Whilst there were some technical difficulties during the set, it took me some time to realise that this was not part of the play, as Ruth blended this into her performance. The awkwardness of the lights flickering, mirroring her embarrassing stories. Her ease with improvisation was showcased, and it added to the hilarity and chaos of her character, with the lights fittingly dimming as she sang “can you see me?”.

The audience interaction brought this play to another level. Being a one woman show, she bounced off the crowd, and never were you given the sense that she was on her own. She referred to the audience as guests at her party, and she certainly made us feel as such.

Somehow, Ruth has written a play about anguish, hopelessness, and the sense that fitting in is just too hard a feat, and yet, this play is undoubtedly joyous and uplifting. She delivers heart-breaking comments, alongside witty quips, to leave you laughing before you have a chance to dwell.